Biden to discuss Russian ransomware hackers with Putin and suggests Moscow bears ‘some responsibility’


President Joe Biden has announced he would be speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, given the hackers responsible were a Russia-based ransomware group.

“I’m going to be meeting with President Putin,” Mr Biden said. “So far there’s no evidence from our intelligence people that Russia is involved. Although, there is evidence the actor’s ransomware is in Russia.”

Date and location have yet to be announced for the meeting between Mr Biden and the Russian president. But previously Mr Biden said it was his “hope and expectation” to meet with Mr Putin in June during his trip to the United Kingdom and Belgium for NATO and the G7.

Although there was “no evidence” that the Russian government was involved in the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline’s operator system, there was an expectation from the Biden administration for Russia to respond.

“They (Moscow) have some responsibility to deal with this,” Mr Biden said.

DarkSide has been named as being responsible for the attack.

“The FBI confirms that the DarkSide ransomware is responsible for the compromise to the Colonial Pipeline networks. We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation,” the FBI said in a statement released Monday.

DarkSide, a Russia-based ransomware group, was among several criminal gangs responsible for costing Western nations tens of billions of dollars in the last three years.

The group claims to only target large corporations that are not related to medical, educational, or government entities. A portion of the money earned by the group during these ransomware attacks are then donated to charities, DarkSide claims.

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which spans about 5,500 miles along the East Coast, transporting more than 100 million gallons a day, first reported the cyberattack to its network on Friday.

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